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Thank you and congratulations to the Bellevue Club for going solar with a 114.21kW (kilowatt) solar photovoltaic system and two electric vehicle charging stations.

Projects of this scale take a lot of planning, coordinating and teamwork. Our Commercial Solar Designers and the Bellevue Club collaborated on how to minimize disruptions to the Club during construction. The process of lifting multiple pallets of solar modules and equipment to the varying roof structures was simplified by COVID-19 restrictions as the Club’s parking lot and walkways were relatively clear during the installation.

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Our Designers and Project Managers consulted with manufacturers, engineers, roofers, and other professionals to ensure the PV system was optimized for safety, energy production and ease of operation. On this project tk1sc provided detailed structural engineering services, analyzing difficult-to-procure existing structural drawings to determine allowable system weight and certifying our proposed attachment method had appropriate strength.

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PSS’s Commercial Solar Design team uses a combination of satellite imagery and specialized solar design software tools. Commercial roof systems are significantly more complex because of large rooftop equipment like heating, ventilation, air conditioning and elevator equipment which cast large shadows. Designers must also account for fire accessibility setbacks.

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PSS contracted with H&M Electric, the Bellevue Club’s preferred electrical company for installing the conduit and wire runs inside the building. These conduit runs connect the rooftop solar PV electrical system to the Club’s main electrical switchboard and provide communications for system monitoring. The club will be able to access and see how the system is performing and receive alerts is something is not working correctly.

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For the flat section of the Club’s roof, our team selected a ballasted system which is reinforced by mechanical attachments using Anchor Products U-Anchors U2400. We source our ballast blocks locally through Mutual Materials.

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For this project, we’re using 282 LG Solar 405W (Watt) solar modules combined with SolarEdge P860 Power Optimizers and a SolarEdge SE100K-US solar inverter. Large electrical systems like this are complex. Modules are interconnected electrically but placing too many together is dangerous, so they’re grouped together in smaller “strings” that feed junction boxes designed to handle high voltage. There are nine strings in this system.  Visually, there are seven separate arrays. Two large arrays of 90 modules on a flat roof and five smaller arrays, ranging from 18 to 30 modules each.

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The system is projected to produce 115,500 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity per year. (The average household in the Bellevue area uses about 10,000 kilowatts per year.) The system is expected to perform for at least 25+years, the length of the equipment manufacturers warranty. The Club’s electrical Utility, Puget Sound Energy gets about 35% of its energy from burning coal, so this solar PV system will have a significant reduction on the Club’s carbon footprint.

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Puget Sound Solar is installing two Clipper Creek HSC-40 Charging Stations in the garage for the Club’s guests who drive plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

This is a great project that helps the Bellevue Club reduce its carbon footprint, electric bills and highlights its commitment to sustainability to guests and members.

About the author

author

Started Puget Sound Solar in 2001 with 30 years of construction contracting experience, and a desire to turn Seattle on to solar energy. Achieving NABCEP certification in 2004, Jeremy believes that our customers often follow a path similar to the one he took, starting out with solar daydreaming, then progressing to education on the subject, and eventually leading to action. In addition to leading the company he also does some teaching and speaking engagements about various aspects of solar energy, and experiments relentlessly with various solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicle projects.

Jeremy Smithson

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